Meet this month’s emerging artist!
Name: Sahrish S. Ali | سحرش
Occupation: Programmer / Pun Queen
Medium: Geometric drawings, gypsum carving, paper folding, etc., but mostly pens.
What got you started?
As a child whenever I would get antsy and restless during lessons, an adult would give me a piece of paper to fold, draw or play with. Occasionally I would go to my dad’s office on the weekends. He used to let me use a very old desktop computer with Windows 95 and a modem that made old timey noises. There I would spend hours sketching characters and doodling using MS Paint. Drawing and playing with paper has always been a part of me.
Why do you art?
Communicating what I see and feel about the world around me has always been a challenge. I want to be able to communicate through creating. To bring an idea into focus and give it life so it serves a purpose by just existing in the world.
Is your work the result of sudden inspiration, or long term planning? How do you think up your concepts?
Waiting for inspiration is like starving yourself. I do geometric patterns as a form of daily meditation and the origami just kicks in when I am thinking of other stuff. However, some projects are planned ahead. Sometimes inspiration just finds you when you are working and having fun while at it.
What is, in your opinion, the best thing you’ve ever created and why?
Once I made this Rest in Peace piece, where I had these journals that I had filled out over the course of a year. Writings included my daily reflections and personal thoughts from times that were difficult and the only thing I could do was to keep writing. I took the pages of those journals and folded them into origami peace doves that were then arranged in the form of a whirlwind. It symbolized coming to peace with my thoughts and the past. I gave them all away. People would come and pluck a piece and take the ones they thought were most relatable to them. It was comforting to see how much people related to the piece and I wasn’t alone.
What do you think of the art scene in Saudi? Anything you’d like to see changed?
I would definitely love more public activities where you bring communities together to form one art concept or piece. There’s art education awareness on the rise now and I think nurturing visual thinking within the school systems would help.
Who are your role models?
Ai Weiwei, Chinese contemporary artist and activist, and Neil Gaiman, English author.
Favorite piece of artwork by someone else.
Laundromat by Ai Weiwei, 2016, at Deitch Projects
Ai Weiwei: 2016 Roots and Branches at Lisson Gallery